From Publishers Weekly
Murrow, a television writer and producer, asks and effectively answers the question: "What is it about modern Christianity that is driving men away?" Just 35% of American men say they attend church weekly, he reports, and women make up more than 60% of the typical congregation on a given Sunday. Murrow contends that the church caters to women, children and the elderly by creating a safe, predictable environment. This alienates anyone fond of risk taking, including young men and
women, but men are affected most. In order to reach men, Murrow suggests, churches must "adjust the thermostat" to embrace the masculine spirit: let men lead; give them tasks; encourage pastors to show strength and teach men through object lessons, letting them discover truth for themselves. Two of the best outreach methods: start rigorous mentoring programs and help men make friends with other men. Murrow bases his conclusions on what he claims are legitimate biological and cultural gender differences. He is aware that these observations might offend, and his thesis will find few takers among those who believe that the church needs less, not more, male influence. But Murrow's work is quite likely to get an enthusiastic reception from many Christian men. It contains sharp observations that will provoke much discussion—and, perhaps, some change. (Mar. 24)
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According to the author, American men hate going to church, as evidenced by a wealth of statistics that point to an ever-widening gap between female and male churchgoers. Regardless of denomination, it appears that most Christian churches are unintentionally designed to appeal to women and children. How to solve the growing gender gap in congregations of every type? Murrow advocates injecting a strong shot of testosterone into the proceedings to restore the masculine spirit to the church. Churches need to provide a more challenging and confrontational approach to religion and spiritual issues instead of concentrating on more traditional-- and female-oriented--calls for conformity, control, and ceremony. Whether or not you fully buy into his somewhat simplistic hypothesis and solution, Murrow does provide some provocative food for thought on a hot-button topic. Margaret FlanaganCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved